for this game

Steckel lifts Capitals past Avalanche

Jan 10, 2008 - 5:14 AM
By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- David Steckel presented coach Bruce Boudreau with a game-winning goal as his 53rd birthday gift as the Washington Capitals posted a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Steckel's fourth tally of the season gave Washington a 2-0 lead with 3:59 remaining in the third period.

Racing down the right wing, Steckel attempted a centering feed to Quintin Laing in the slot. But the puck deflected off the skate of Colorado defenseman Jordan Leopold and past goaltender Jose Theodore for the eventual winning tally.

The goal proved crucial as Marek Svatos answered 38 seconds later for the Avalanche with his 17th of the season, halving the deficit.

Stationed in the right faceoff circle, Wojtek Wolski backhanded a pass to Svatos in the slot. The Czech then beat netminder Olaf Kolzig for his 17th goal of the season.

Kolzig, however, saved the best of his 18 saves for last, denying Tyler Arnason with 13 seconds remaining with a glove stop. Kolzig also made a skate save on Arnason with 30 seconds left.

"I held my ground and was able to get my toe on it," Kolzig said.

The former Vezina Trophy winner admitted he would take an ugly win over a fancy loss every time.

"Who cares? Who cares?" he said. "Pretty is what burned us in the past. We're a meat-and-potatoes-type team. Get the puck in and check, and one of our meat-and-potato guys got the goal for us."

The Capitals still had to rely on Kolzig in crunch time.

"We had some chances to put it away," Boudreau said. "When they got that goal, they started to believe. Olie played great in the end when he had to. He was sharp.

"We knew he was going to be sharp yesterday. It might have been his best practice since I've been here. He was sharp as a tack, and we all thought he was going to play great."

Enforcer Donald Brashear snapped a scoreless tie early in the third period, netting his third goal of the season at 2:51.

After Matt Bradley skated from behind the net, he fed Brooks Laich in the left circle. Laich one-timed a shot that Brashear deflected past Theodore to give Washington a 1-0 advantage.

After starting the season 2-7-0 at home, the Capitals are 6-3-1 in their last 11 games at Verizon Center.

Boudreau has made the most of his short tenure as Washington's coach, leading the Capitals to eight one-goal victories and six come-from-behind wins during his first 21 games behind the bench.

"I don't know if it's my best," Boudreau said of celebrating his birthday with a victory. "I'm just glad I'm here to have one."

The Avalanche, who dropped a 1-0 decision at Detroit on Tuesday, were on their second stop of a five-game road trip, which includes four straight meetings with Southeast Division clubs. They also will travel to Carolina, Florida and Tampa Bay.

Milan Hejduk missed from point-blank range on one of Colorado's best scoring opportunities during a power play midway through the third period.

The defensive game featured only 10 total shots in the first period, including six by the Capitals. Washington outshot Colorado, 8-5, in the middle session.

"We played a smart game - 0-0 after two periods," said Theodore, who finished with 21 saves. "We played well. Obviously, it's frustrating again, but I think we have to stick with it and play the same type of game - and get that extra goal when we need to. We're playing well, but we just need to generate a little more offense."

Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville only could shake his head.

"It was 0-0, a faceoff goal, and one in off a foot," he said. "Jose made some key stops to keep us going that late in the game. It was two frustrating losses in a row. The game is on the line, and you came up empty."

The Avalanche are struggling to score without injured captain Joe Sakic, who underwent hernia surgery on December 28 and is out for eight to 12 weeks. They also are missing talented left wing Ryan Smyth, who is expected to miss eight weeks because of a fractured ankle.

"We're having a hard time generating offense," said Quenneville, whose team has totaled just 11 goals over its last seven games. "They played a heck of a game. They checked well. Jose kept us in the game and gave us a chance. We're not getting much production, and that's what we're looking for."

It was the Avalanche's first visit to Washington in nearly five years. Colorado also dropped a 2-1 decision here on March 16, 2003.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0 1 1
    WASHINGTON 0 0 2 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 8 (MATT BRADLEY) 2:51
    WAS - DAVID STECKEL 4 (BOYD GORDON, MILAN JURCINA) 16:01
    COL - MAREK SVATOS 17 (WOJTEK WOLSKI, BRETT CLARK) 16:39
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: COL - 0 OF

    Jan 9 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 1
    WASHINGTON 2
    3RD PRD: COL - MAREK SVATOS 17 (WOJTEK WOLSKI, BRETT CLARK) 16:39

    Avalanche vs. CapitalsJan 9 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    WASHINGTON 2
    3RD PRD: WAS - DAVID STECKEL 4 (BOYD GORDON, MILAN JURCINA) 16:01

    Avalanche vs. CapitalsJan 9 9:25 PM
  • 22
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Avalanche vs. CapitalsJan 9 9:25 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Avalanche vs. CapitalsJan 9 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    3RD PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 8 (MATT BRADLEY) 2:51

    Avalanche vs. CapitalsJan 9 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COL 4 5 9
    WAS 6 8 14
    GOALIES: COL - JOSE THEODORE
    WAS - OLAF KOLZIG

    Jan 9 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COL 4 4
    WAS 6 6
    GOALIES: COL - JOSE THEODORE
    WAS - OLAF KOLZIG

    Jan 9 7:46 PM
  • metsfan31 go islanders !

    Avalanche vs. CapitalsJan 9 7:39 AM